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June 13, 2021
From The Sunday Read Archives: ‘My Mustache, My Self’
During months of pandemic isolation, Wesley Morris, a critic at large for The New York Times, decided to grow a mustache. The reviews were mixed and predictable. He heard it described as “porny” and “creepy,” as well as “rugged” and “extra gay.” It was a comment on a group call, however, that gave him pause. Someone noted that his mustache made him look like a lawyer for the N.A.A.C.P.’s legal defense fund. “It was said as a winking correction and an earnest clarification — Y’all, this is what it is,” Wesley said. “The call moved on, but I didn’t. That is what it is: one of the sweetest, truest things anybody had said about me in a long time.” On today’s episode of The Sunday Read, Wesley Morris’s story about Blackness and the symbolic power of the mustache.
June 11, 2021
Day X, Part 3: Blind Spot 2.0
Franco A. is not the only far-right extremist in Germany discovered by chance. For over a decade, 10 murders in the country, including nine victims who were immigrants, went unsolved. The neo-Nazi group responsible was discovered only when a bank robbery went wrong. In this episode, we ask: Why has a country that spent decades atoning for its Nazi past so often failed to confront far-right extremism?
June 10, 2021
The Unlikely Pioneer Behind mRNA Vaccines
When she was at graduate school in the 1970s, Dr. Katalin Kariko learned about something that would become a career-defining obsession: mRNA. She believed in the potential of the molecule, but for decades ran up against institutional roadblocks. Then, the coronavirus hit and her obsession would help shield millions from a once-in-a-century pandemic. Today, a conversation with Dr. Kariko about her journey. Guest: Gina Kolata, a reporter covering science and medicine for The New York Times.
June 9, 2021
The Bill That United the Senate
The Senate passed the largest piece of industrial policy seen in the U.S. in decades on Tuesday, directing about a quarter of a trillion dollars to bolster high-tech industries. In an era where lawmakers can’t seem to agree on anything, why did they come together for this? Guest: David E. Sanger, a White House and national security correspondent for The New York Times.
June 8, 2021
Who is Hacking the U.S. Economy?
In the past few weeks, some of the biggest industries in the U.S. have been held up by cyberattacks. The first big infiltration was at Colonial Pipeline, a major conduit of gas, jet fuel and diesel to the East Coast. Then, J.B.S., one of the world’s largest beef suppliers, was hit. The so-called ransomware attacks have long been a worry. But who are the hackers and how can they be stopped? Guest: Nicole Perlroth, a reporter covering cybersecurity and digital espionage for The New York Times.
June 7, 2021
Will Netanyahu Fall?
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has always sold himself as a peerless defender of his country. In the minds of many Israelis, he has become a kind of indispensable leader for the nation’s future. Despite that image, Mr. Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, might soon be ousted from office. What has given his rivals the momentum to try to topple him? And who might be his replacement? Guest: David M. Halbfinger, who covered Israel, the occupied Palestinian territories and the Middle East as the Jerusalem bureau chief of The New York Times.
June 6, 2021
The Sunday Read: ‘The Native Scholar Who Wasn't’
Andrea Smith had long been an outspoken activist and academic in the Native American community. Called an icon of “Native American feminism,” she was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy work and has aligned herself with prominent activists such as Angela Davis. Last fall, however, a number of academics, including Ms. Smith, were outed as masquerading as Black, Latino or Indigenous. While many of them explained themselves and the lies they told, Ms. Smith never did. Why?
June 5, 2021
Bonus: Ezra Klein Talks to Obama About How America Went From ‘Yes We Can’ to ‘MAGA’
On this episode of The Ezra Klein Show, former President Barack Obama discusses Joe Biden, aliens and what he got right and wrong during his two terms in office. Each Tuesday and Friday for The New York Times Opinion section, Ezra Klein invites you into a conversation on something that matters. Subscribe to the show wherever you listen to podcasts.
June 4, 2021
Day X, Part 2: In the Stomach
Franco A. visited the workplaces of two of his alleged targets. We meet both targets to hear the stories of two Germanies: One a beacon of liberal democracy that has worked to overcome its Nazi past, the other a place where that past is attracting new recruits. Today, we explore how Germany's history is informing the fight for the country’s future.
June 3, 2021
Inside the Texas Legislature
Over the weekend, months of tension in the Texas Legislature came to a head. A group of Democratic lawmakers got up and left the building before a vote — an act of resistance amid the most conservative Texas legislative session in recent memory. The population of Texas is becoming less old, less white and less Republican, so why is its Legislature moving further right? Guest: Manny Fernandez, the Los Angeles bureau chief for The New York Times. He spent more than nine years covering Texas as the Houston bureau chief.
June 2, 2021
Joe Manchin’s Motivations
Representing a vanishing brand of Democratic politics that makes his vote anything but predictable, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia has become the make-or-break legislator of the Biden era. We explore how and why Mr. Manchin’s vote has become so powerful. Guest: Jonathan Martin, a national political correspondent for The New York Times.
June 1, 2021
The Burning of Black Tulsa
This episode includes disturbing language including racial slurs. In the early 20th century, Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was an epicenter of Black economic influence in the United States. However, in the early hours of June 1, 1921, a white mob — sanctioned by the Tulsa police — swept through the community burning and looting homes and businesses, and killing residents. A century later, the question before Congress, the courts and the United States as a whole is: What would justice look like? Guest: Brent Staples, a member of the New York Times editorial board.
May 28, 2021
Day X, Part 1: Shadow Army?
This episode contains strong language. The mysterious story of a German soldier, a faked Syrian identity and a loaded gun in an airport bathroom cracks the door open to a network of far-right extremists inside the German military and the police. They are preparing for the day democracy collapses — a day they call Day X. But just how dangerous are they? See all episodes of Day X at nytimes.com/dayx
May 27, 2021
The Saga of Ryanair Flight 4978
Last week, when the pilots on a commercial flight headed for Lithuania told passengers they were about to make an unexpected landing in the Belarusian capital of Minsk many were confused — except Roman Protasevich. The 26-year-old dissident journalist and one Belarus’s biggest enemies sensed what was about to happen. How and why did Belarus force down the plane and arrest Mr. Protasevich? And what comes next? Guest: Anton Troianovski, the Moscow bureau chief for The New York Times.
May 26, 2021
Why Hamas Keeps Fighting, and Losing
After 11 days of fighting over the skies of Israel and Gaza, a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel was announced last week. The conflict wrought devastation in Gaza. Yet Hamas’s leaders took to television and declared victory. We look at where the organization comes from and their objectives to understand why it has, for decades, engaged in battles it knows it can’t win. Guest: Ben Hubbard, the Beirut bureau chief for The New York Times.
May 25, 2021
A Cheerleader, a Snapchat Post and the Supreme Court
When Brandi Levy was 14, she posted an expletive-filled video to Snapchat, expressing her dismay at not making the varsity cheerleading squad. It got her suspended from cheerleading entirely for a year. Can a public school deal with off-campus speech in this way without infringing the First Amendment? The Supreme Court will decide. Guest: Adam Liptak, a reporter covering the United States Supreme Court for The New York Times.
May 24, 2021
The Crumbling of the N.R.A.
It had long appeared that the National Rifle Association was impervious to anything or anyone. Now, an investigation into financial misconduct accusations led by the New York attorney general’s office imperils the very existence of America’s most powerful gun rights group. We look at how a plan to circumvent this investigation through a bankruptcy filing backfired. Guest: Danny Hakim, an investigative reporter for The New York Times.
May 23, 2021
The Sunday Read: ‘Neanderthals Were People, Too’
In the summer of 1856, workers quarrying limestone in a valley outside Düsseldorf, Germany, found an odd looking skull. It was elongated and almost chinless. William King, a British geologist, suspected that this was not merely the remains of an atypical human, but belonged to a typical member of an alternate humanity. He named the species Homo neanderthalensis: Neanderthal man. Guided by racism and phrenology, he deemed the species brutish, with a “moral ‘darkness.’” It was a label that stuck. Recently, however, after we’d snickered over their skulls for so long, it became clear we had made presumptions. Neanderthals weren’t the slow-witted louts we’d imagined them to be.
May 22, 2021
Presenting This American Life: “The Daily”
When our friends at This American Life made an episode called ... wait for it! ... “The Daily,” we knew we wanted to share it with you. It’s about life’s daily practices, and what you learn from doing a thing every day. Wait for the end. There’s a little surprise. And if you want to hear more episodes of This American Life, you can find the show wherever you listen to podcasts.
May 21, 2021
Two Soldiers, Ten Years
This episode contains strong language and scenes of war that some may find distressing. In 2010, James Dao, then a military affairs reporter for The New York Times, began following a battalion of U.S. soldiers headed for Afghanistan. Two soldiers caught his attention: Adrian Bonenberger, a single, 32-year-old captain, and Tamara Sullivan, a 30-year-old sergeant and mother of two. As President Biden prepares to withdraw troops from Afghanistan this fall, we revisit those interviews and follow up with the two soldiers. Guest: James Dao, a National editor for The New York Times.